Monday, August 28, 2006

Ugly Truth 

This editorial is a balanced discussion of the saddest duty a military service has -- informing individuals of the death of their son, daughter, wife or husband. Inevitably, the question arises of "how did he/she die?" The military service like anyone who is respectful of the dead wants to say a person died honorably. Since the embarrassment it suffered with the death of the former football player, Pat Tillman, who was shot by friendly fire, the military has learned that bending truth is a worse than telling it. The Tillman incident was a PR disaster because the Army tried to cover the story up. As the truth emerged over months, the Army looked worse with each report.

Many would prefer not to know exactly how a loved one died. They want to preserve the memory of an individual in a certain way. But, war is ugly, stupid and unfair. The military now is committed to telling people how violent it is. One has to think this will be a PR disaster too. There is no good way to communicate news of death.


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